In my blog posts about this year’s TGO Challenge, attentive members of the congregation may recall me banging on about lovely old rights of way that had been churned up horribly by motorized hooligans.
This is how I wrote about it on the second link:
“Every year at about this time, dozens of ignorant bastards descend upon this part of the Highlands to tear the life out the delicate peaty soils with their trail bikes. Unfortunately this year it seems they had chosen the Road to the Isles as their race track. They have totally destroyed a good 5km section of this fine Highland track from just before Peter’s Rock to well past Corrour Old Lodge. All the old drainage channels and the path itself are now a complete area of devastation. This makes the walking quite dispiriting, as you find yourself up to your shins in slippery peaty gloop. We averaged about 1km/hr on this section.”
Andy’s photo is just a snippet of the horrors of what they have done. Unfortunately this was not the worst of it; we had already slithered and slopped our way through that earlier. But it gives a flavour of what these hooligans have done to a fine old heritage right of way – The Road to the Isles.
I thought I would dig a little further into this annual slaughter of our heritage pathways. What I found was far and away more horrible than I had ever expected. From the Scottish Six Days Trial website I have cribbed the following:
“The Scottish Six Days Trial (SSDT) is mainly focused on the Lochaber area, centred in Fort William. Each day of the trial starts and finishes in Fort William, providing a major attraction for the town. The trial is limited by daylight hours to around 270 competitors, but entries are regularly in excess of 400, such is the popularity of the event.
The routes are laid out one day in advance by the Clerk of the Course and his team, and each route is meticulously planned in association with landowners, Forestry Commission, tenants and environmental bodies.”
Well! I was wrong about “dozens of ignorant bastards”. Make that “HUNDREDS of ignorant bastards.” Two Hundred and seventy ignorant bastards to be more accurate.
Here’s the route they took on Thursday 10th May. This map was taken from their website. The section they destroyed is between G & H: A section of the historic Road to the Isles
Here’s their map for Saturday 12th May, showing how they churned their way through the Lairig Leacach: Between F & H
This video clip is taken from their website. It displays the power of these bikes. Imagine what that will do multiplied 270 times on a wet day on the old pathways.
Do you know what really makes me despair in all of this? This is taken directly from their website:
“The routes are laid out one day in advance by the Clerk of the Course and his team, and each route is meticulously planned in association with landowners, Forestry Commission, tenants and environmental bodies. “
I have accented the last two words of that sentence. What I would like to know is which environmental bodies could possibly have helped in the “meticulous planning” of this event, causing such utter devastation? Can anyone help here? I think we should be told so that we can get this environmental hooliganism stopped.
One last thing: I notice that this event is supported financially by EventScotland. These hooligans are funded by the Scottish Government!